Randy Cunneyworth, LW

76 12 24 36

Head Coach

Jacques Martin

General Manager

Pierre Gauthier

Season Overview

Regarded as a pivotal season in the franchise's development, 1996-97 was also Jacques Martin's first full season as head coach. The Senators improved their points from 41 to 77, an increase of 88 per cent that still stands as the largest increase over a previous season in club history. The performance earned Ottawa its first playoff berth, where they succumbed to the Buffalo Sabres in a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker in the seventh game of the quarter-final series. Jacques Martin received his first nomination as NHL coach of the year.

Season Highlights

Oct. 10, 1996 Alexei Yashin set a club record with 11 shots on goal in the Senators' 6-3 home win over Montreal.
Oct. 19, 1996 After Montreal scored on its first three shots, the Senators managed to dig themselves out of a big hole to earn a 6-3 home victory. The Senators ended up out-shooting Montreal 13-4 in the opening period, trailing 3-2 after one.
Dec. 13, 1996 During the first period, Alexandre Daigle tied a team record for most shots on goal in one period with six shots in a 4-2 home loss to Phoenix.
Dec. 23, 1996 Ottawa scored four power-play goals to tie a club record in the Senators' 6-0 win at Montreal. It was the second game in a row that the Senators scored six goals against Montreal. The first was at home on Oct. 19..
April 12, 1997 The Senators defeated the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 and clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Steve Duchesne scored the memorable goal with 4:01 left in the third period.
April 19, 1997 The visiting Ottawa Senators defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals for their first playoff win.

Division Standings

Buffalo 82 40 30 12 92
Pittsburgh 82 38 36 8 84
Ottawa 82 31 36 15 77
Montreal 82 41 36 15 77
Hartford 82 32 39 11 75
Boston 82 26 47 9 61